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Washington Watch: Voters offer mixed messages in election

There’s no shortage of indications of American voters’ exasperation with their elected officials. Approval ratings for Congress are abysmally low — far lower, even, than the dismal ratings for Democratic President Barack Obama, whom Republican congressional candidates across the country bashed in their successful effort in the Nov. 4 elections to win control of the Senate and expand… Continue reading →

Washington Watch: Landrieu remark points to complicated legacy

Taken in isolation, Mary Landrieu’s remark about Southern attitudes toward African-Americans can hardly be disputed. “The South has not always been the friendliest place for African-Americans,” she said in an interview Thursday with NBC News. Considering the region’s long and bloody history of slavery, lynchings, segregation and overtly racist politicians, that comment is a vast understatement.… Continue reading →

Gregory Roberts: State’s reputation holds true in campaigns

In Louisiana, as every schoolchild knows, the politics are as zesty as a bowl of gumbo. Helping to sustain that clich√© in recent days are two members of the state’s congressional delegation, both involved in challenging re-election campaigns: Democratic U.S. Sen. Mary Landrieu and Republican U.S. Rep. Vance McAllister. Landrieu’s moment came during the tailgating outside Tiger… Continue reading →

Washington Watch: Jindal’s Common Core stance politically useful

Maybe Gov. Bobby Jindal is onto something with this Common Core business after all. Not so much with his nominal constituency in the state of Louisiana, where his 180-degree turn against the educational standards regimen he once so warmly embraced has set him crosswise with the business community, the state education superintendent Jindal once supported, the Legislature… Continue reading →

Washington Watch: Hot races to finish second

On Nov. 4, millions of voters across America will pick the winners in campaigns for the U.S. Senate, U.S. House, governor and more. And in the two competitive U.S. House races in Louisiana, hard-charging Republican candidates will leave no stone unturned in their drives to ... finish second. Thanks to the vagaries of Louisiana elections law… Continue reading →

Washington Watch: Scalise getting into the fundraising flow

Associated Press file photo by  J. Scott Applewhite -- U.S.Rep. Steve Scalise, R-La., who leads a conservative faction of lawmakers in the Republican Study Committee, speaks Thursday with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington, after the House Republican Conference elected him to be the new House majority whip, replacing current whip Rep. Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., who was elevated to majority leader. Scalise's election to a key leadership post among House Republicans gives Louisiana the kind of high-profile influence in that body that it hasn't seen since Robert Livingston was in line for the speaker's post 15 years ago.

On the job description for new U.S. House Majority Whip Steve Scalise, of Jefferson, the main item is rounding up votes on the House floor to pass legislation endorsed by Republican Party leaders. But there’s another, unofficial assignment that comes with the job: big-time Republican fundraiser. As the No. 3-ranking member of the House Republican… Continue reading →

Washington Watch: Landrieu, Cassidy compare campaign finances

Tuesday was a red-letter day for the political number crunchers: The deadline for U.S. House and Senate candidates to file their campaign finance reports with the Federal Election Commission for the April-June reporting period, when campaigns for the fall elections are gaining momentum. And it’s all available online, for ready conversion to… Continue reading →

Gregory Roberts: Senate has its own intrigues

The U.S. House drew most of the attention in Congress this past week, with the stunning defeat of Majority Leader Eric Cantor in a Virginia primary Tuesday, setting off a scramble for the resulting openings in the Republican leadership. But the Senate quietly went about its business, too, and in a way that illustrates how legislating… Continue reading →